The Making of California

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The Making of California
Humanities Course
Course CodeMACA
Years Of Operation2000
Sites OfferedSCZ
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The Making of California · The Civil Rights Movement
Politics of Place · Eastern Philosophy
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Writing About Place: The Monterey Bay

Course Description

From the CTY Course Catalog (2000):

Located near such landmarks as the Spanish Mission in Carmel, the Mexican Custom House in Monterey, and San Francisco’s Chinatown, the UC-Santa Cruz campus is at the center of an area rich in history and ethnic diversity. This course allows students to explore the history of California and the West by examining the experience of the region’s Anglo, Hispanic, Native American, African American, and Asian populations.

As they visit the many different locations in the surrounding San Francisco-Monterey Bay region, students explore the craft of the historian. In class, students enact debates between important figures (e.g., the explorer John C. Fremont and Pio Pico, the last Governor of Mexican California) and engage in discussions about controversial historical issues. Possible topics include the strain created by the population influx during the Gold Rush, the experience of the Chinese laborers who helped build the transcontinental railroads, or the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Emphasis in this course is placed on the critical reading of primary and secondary documents, as well as developing sound research and writing skills. Through trips, readings, lectures, group work, and discussions, students consider not only what happened in the past, but how history is represented in books, museums, and preserved landmarks.